The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, taking place this year between Friday, 29 June and Sunday, 8 July, has long been an annual pilgrimage for marathon runners and road cyclists. Over the years the range of sporting events on offer at the Festival has grown significantly to include a swim across the lagoon, paddling, trail running, mountain biking, golf, as well as the Momentum Big5 Challenge and Momentum Big5 Lite for accomplished multisport athletes.
For cyclists particularly, the Festival has a lot to offer, with the long-standing favourites firmly in place to challenge some of the top riders in the country, as well as those seeking fun and a bit of adventure for the family.
The first weekend of the Festival sees the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Events kick off festivities on Saturday, 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. The inaugural E-bike race was a great success last year and the event looks forward to a bigger field of entrants this year. The challenging trails of the MTB routes through the Garden Route’s forests and farmlands really cater for riders of all skills levels.
Pro cyclist Matt Beers, who is on top form after recently winning the KAP sani2c with experienced NAD Pro teammate Nico Bell, says the Knysna cycling events are ones he will keep coming back to. He will be competing in the 80km mountain bike and 115km road cycle events.
“I’ve been doing it since I started racing and I have come 3rd twice and 2nd once so I am looking to win it this year, and I will do the road race the next day as well, as that has become the tradition. We have to show the roadies how it’s done, despite the fact that us mountain bikers may be a bit fatigued from the day before, I like the challenge,” he says.
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race on Sunday, 1 July, features a 115km and a 50km route. In an exciting development this year, the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour has confirmed that the 115km road race, along with the 80km and 50km mountain bike races will be seeding qualifying events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday, 1 July is not a timed race, but a more relaxed scenic 30km or 20km route for mountain bikers, into the forests above Simola and past some of Knysna’s dams.
Also on Sunday, 1 July, the Spur Rotary Children’s Cycle Tour makes the cycling at the Festival a family affair, and parents of 2-10 year olds can watch their children take part in the 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10 year-old categories at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival grounds at Waterfront Drive.
The Momentum Big5 Challenge and Big5 Lite is for athletes who choose to participate in five of the Festival’s sports events between Friday, 29 June and Saturday, 7 July. Ranked by their cumulative time, the athlete who completes all five events in the least amount of time will be the race winner. The Momentum BIG5 Challenge has become a bucket list item on the international endurance and adventure race calendar, mainly due to the challenging events, but also because of the unbelievable natural beauty experienced at all of the five races.
Enjoying the fun and entertainment on offer throughout the week of the Festival is a great way to relax after you have made your mark on the sports events, so sign up now and get your training on track to enjoy an action-packed holiday.
The full festival line-up, with links to enter all the sporting events, can be found on the website at: http://www.oysterfestival.co.za/programme-of-events/
Book your accommodation packages with us at www.oysterfestival.co.za/accommodation
Direct link to the cycling events: www.knysnacycle.co.za
Mountain biking events on Saturday 30 June, with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes, in addition to the newer 30km E-bike race. The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour on Sunday 1 July, with a 115km and 50km route.
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